tv Mc Laughlin Group CBS June 26, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the issue one, iraq is back! over 100 people wounded, over 20 killed this week in a deadly attack in a crowded market in central baghdad. bodies were strewn everywhere. the war in iraq just ended its eighth year, now the second longest war in u.s. history, second only to the afghanistan conflict. here's is a iraq war human toll, u.s. military. killed, 4421 american soldiers. injured, amputeed, wounded, mentally ill -- 31,922 americans.
the u.s. military is still there, the number of u.s. troops in iraq now just short of 50,000. roughly the population of biloxi, mississippi. the u.s. military in iraq had been scheduled to leave iraq by december 31, 2011. secretary gates now says he wants them to stay. and he is trying to figure outs how he can get the iraqi government to "ask" the u.s. to stay in iraq. >> the iraq and we are talking about some kind of residual american presence in terms of helping them with beyond december of 2011. >> some believe that we are sinking our roots in iraq and all the signs point that way. the u.s. embassy in iraq, get this, is the largest embassy in the world with a current population of 8,000 people. in the embassy. and the embassy suspects to build that 8,000, get this, up to 17,000 people.
the u.s. embassy also has 19 planes and 24 helicopters. the a. u.s. dollars spent in iraq since day one is now more than $806 billion. question, what standard pentagon's justification for keeping u.s. troops in iraq? james? >> we have a tremendous amount of blood and treasure invested in iraq. i think they don't want to throw that away. they see heightening levels of violence and i think we would like to keep at least 20,000 troops there past of the first of the year, i think there are plenty of people in the administrations who want to bug out of iraq and get them all home. so we have sorted of the military component. but we haven't been digging our roots if eye rag. we haven't been doing enough to exchange for business exchanges, iranian businesses are flood nothing iraq. we want influence there beyond military. we need soft power influence. we need to do a lot more in that part of it. >> eleanor? >> oil rich part of the world, i think going in there was a
huge mistake because we have emboldened iran, we made them the powerhouse country in the region but we do have this large embassy, and there thereby a residual american force. but this president is making good on the deal negotiated by former president bush to get troops out of there. so i don't see a big footprint continuing in the future, and whatever happens in iraq will be their problem and they could well still have difficulties along the lines of the civil war. >> michelle? >> you know, it's a difficult balancing act. i've worked with lots of iraqi women over the years, and we have -- united states went into iraq under one mode. there were no weapons of mass destruction. but the bottom line is we went in as a nation, we have started promoting democracy, we're seeing the promotion of women's rights in iraq, and it's in the best interests of the united states to have a stable iraqi government. it's not there yet. i fully believe we will be out
by 2012. but i think it's important for us to stay there. say that the nation is empowering the congress or the president to send american citizens, the military, into battle without a critical national security reason for doing it. does obama has mentioned, the president mentioned no critical national security reason for us to be there. this has to be imminent, and it has to be commensurate with the true national security interests of the country. >> let me put it this way. any president who decides in his own mind for whatever reason that there's a national security interest will find a way to put it to the public exactly in those terms, and le keep troops there if that is his judgment. in fact, he should keep troops there if that's his judgment. but we have been there for god knows how many years now, nine years, 10 years. we've lost a lot of people, we spent a fortune. but what is going on there now is a huge divide between the sunnis and shiites, which is an enormous problem if that part
of the world. we don't think of it very much, but iran does because iran is a shiite country, and the shiites now are in power. the sunnis are headed up by allawi and we are trying to find some way as we did before to make government out of the two of them. there was a deal made which the -- malachy government has not made up to what we're worried about is that as soon as we leave, malachy will take over the entire government. he'll have another shiite country which is very dangerous to our interests, for example work the saudiees who are in a range. >> do we have the image every being a militaristic world power? >> we have a different kind of image in one sense we've had that image because we're so powerful and have the military capacity to extends our military reach. i do think they think we are not a competent country any longer, that we're not the powerful country as we used to be, and i think that's our problem. >> what do you make of the polling, eleanor, on this? the american people wanting us
outs of iran -- out of afghanistan? if certainly out of iraq. >> well we're coming odds of iraq. >> how long do you want to stretch that out? the lockests war in our history! >> no, it's seconds longest, after afghanistan. and i think because of the loss of life and the potential risk in afghanistan, that's much higher on people's minds. iraq was a huge consumed the bush presidency. it's costs thousands of american lives, displaced lots of iraqis, they've lost their lives. it's a huge mistake. but it's not in the forefront of people's conscious now. we're responsibly i think winding down. we will continue to have a presence in the starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from afghanistan by the end of this year. >> this reduction leaves the balance in afghanistan at 90,000 u.s. troops.
the president says he will remove 23,000 soldiers next year. that leaves a balance of 67,000 something to background about. >> do you think the president senses there's a national call to get out and he wants to get out soon, especially before next year's elections? >> i think absolutely! i think -- >> think his talk this week was motivated by that? >> absolutely. listen, i think he believes it will help in the election. there are how to spend the money we're supposed to be saving over the neck 10 years by not having these troops there. absolutely! there's an article saying he mentally already checked out of afghanistan, and iraq, and i think that's absolutely the case. now he wants to check out physically by bringing the troops home. >> i have on tell you, watching the president's speech. other night earlier this week, i was actually disappointed with the speech. i think it was probably one of the poorest speeches he's given
since he took over as president of the united states. >> content? >> content and -- >> he looked robotic. >> content, delivery. >> single teleprompter in front of him. >> the most important problem was the content. there was too much in there for everyone. there is one instance where we needs our president to be the decider in chief. there was something there for contracts, something there for republicans. when he used the phrase, it's time to engage in nation building at home, i felt like i was speak to be one of my colleagues at msnbc who says that all of the time. if the president believes it, that's one thing. but the problem is with there being so much for everyone, you couldn't help but watch the speech and wonder, is this because there's an election coming around the corner or because the president believes this is the best he can do for the country. >> there's no drama obama. >> that's right, and he said he would begin withdrawing the troops -- >> did he look unhappy to you? into he looked like a war
president who soberly discussing a serious problem. >> talked about infrastructure. >> in my memory that a president has gotten off and talked about affordability in war. we've had everybody talk about -- >> right. >> wants to make the choice -- [everyone talking at once] >> we're in a recession. >> that's right. and our economic security is important as our -- >> what about the human lives component that we saw in this? do you feel happy or okay with sending more and more soldiers in there to get cut up and wounded? >> nobody ever wants that. >> that's not true. in iraq, he's replacing people -- no doubt. but. >> no president ever wants to sends troops? >> why do it? you don have the justification if there's not a crime, national security. you can't send people! we have guaranteed under the constitution in our founding fathers, life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness. life comes first! >> on, i don't disagree with. that but when you have the national security interests of
the united states as determined by the executive branch, it's the president who has the power to make war, as you know, and this is something which he has to decide. and you have to pay attention to his decision. >> this country has become accustom to the face of war, and it is -- i think it's a species. >> i'm not opposed to -- >> you don't nome they've become accustomed to it. we've been living by it. we've been living in it! and it's been used and used against us as a defense against al-qaeda. and now we have seen the slain leader of al-qaeda, we're still in that mode and he wants to -- gradually get out of it. >> that's why when we went into afghanistan, we didn't do it casually. we suffered this enormous attack at home. that's jr. transformed american politics, and the american view of the world. and there was a sense we have to do something. >> what did eisenhower say? he said, beware of the military industrial complex. there's money to be made in war. follow the money.
follow the money! >> i don't think that was the rationale. >> not in the president's mind, sure. we have grown accustom to war! war is the most evil feature of civilization today, and it always has been. it can only be made justified by a series of for four propositions, the first every which is the legitimacy of your national security as a towering need for this particular kinds of action to be taken. >> this is -- >> as soon as we get that straight. >> yes, but we are faced with a situation in which we're looking at a different kind of war. a different kind of war, people who come in and attack our civilians. >> waits a minute now! >> how do you stop them? we had a sense we have to do something about al-qaeda. >> we've been feeding off that for a long time. >> i'm not saying we did the right things. i was opposed to the policy in afghanistan, for example. i believed in an anti--- >> inherited and the immediate
reason for going in there which was they're harboring bin laden is now gone. >> i feel better hearing that from you. okay. >> the cost of war is a whole other issue about the special interests in our defense industry. but that's a whole other issue a sides from this president saying we'll get out of afghanistan. >> okay. you saw the figures on the screen of how much the wars are costing us. >> yes. >> that's because -- >> fighting on the grounds, it's the war craft. >> affordability is finall-- >> okay, the wars. we have spent a trillion dollars on war at a time. debt and hard economic times. now we must invest in america's greatest resource, our people.
question, did president obama justify the afghan involvement on grounds of vital national security interests? i ask you again, michelle. >> he read in between the lines. he absolutely did. i personally and somebody -- who is -- i'm actually glad at the rate of withdraw. there are people think it's too slow. the rate he came out with is appropriate. i think the american public deserved to hair more about why we were will continue to have troops there after he brings back the or withdraws the 33,000 he talked about earlier this week. people need to understand the conditions on the ground. you talk about war in the united states as a national security issue, but one of things that we don't want to do either as a nation in war is horrible. in one wants to engage in war, but we also don't want to become numb to human suffering all over the world. and i think if you talked to former president clinton, for example, and president bush, the fact that people can watch
television and watch the genocide that's happened in sudan and sit back and do nothing as a nation, we are the greatest nation on earth. we have the greatest democracy in the world. how could you look at the women in iraq or afghanistan or iran who are raped as a tool of war, who are not allowed to be he cade. who are forced to dress in clothing that you can't see anything of them because they are second rate citizens? nowhere do we have a democracy that is safe when you can demoralize half your population. >> you still center to make the intellectual leap for relieving the situation of misery or as the case in the sudan, split government and so forth. relieving it through war. and -- that's a terrific ladder to get up, to see war as relieving that rather than compounding it, because you're going to make -- you're going to probably make more enemies on all sides. >> it is -- >> and look militaristic.
[everyone talking at once] there are other ways to attack the problem that are far more efficient than fleeing into the war bag! >> there are some terrible countries that you can change those countries, more trade, opening them up, maybe that's how we deal with iran. but there are some very wad countries led by very bad men which need to be the hard kill and decapitated, and iraq was one them. >> libya? >> yes, libya as well. i understand that. >> that boat sailed. >> i understand that. these countries will not change whether we trade more with them. some places you need to to go in and get rid of the bad guy. >> how do we know the reb else's now fighting in libya will take over and be standsup citizens? >> you're also having a problem with iraq. iraq was clearly led by bad guys, by villains. and we decapitated that regime. and those people -- will be a lot better off had we done
nothing. [everyone talking at once] >> what do we say to the american people, to -- the mothers and fathers who lost -- >> problems of world we cannot solve all the problems of the world. >> thank you. >> we're incapable it. we do more than any other country. we can't do everything. >> we make enemies in trying to solve the problems of the world. >> yes, we do. [everyone talking at once] >> what is the popularity now, what popularity now of al- qaedaism, right now versus 2001, after the two horrible wars throughout the middle east? they do polls, if you favor -- favor bin laden? did you favor -- that has gone down -- [everyone talking at once] >> why don't you address the figure of recruitment and what our opposition to al-qaeda has done. it has increased their recruitment. >> no, al-qaeda is not -- doing that well. >> how many people are left in
al-qaeda? a hundred? go ahead. >> excuse me. al-qaeda has lost a great deal of strength. but jihadism is prevalent around the world, and they're not looking at gee, what america did in iraq as saying that did in al-qaeda. and there are lots of bad guys in the world. we went into iraq because we lied and said there were weapons of mass destruction. >> that's not true. the president did not lie. >> what is interest interesting, he's the first president since john f. kennedy to really outline a doctrine that says we will -- it's no longer bear any burden, pay -- >> you're on your own. that was his -- >> all right. we need a calm voice in here. when we come back, the soothing big ben bernanke.
issue two, big ben. >> maybe some of the headwinds that have been concerning us, like weakness in the financial sector, problems in the housing sector, balance sheets and deleveraging issues, some of these headwinds may be stronger and more persist ent than we thought. >> at a rare press conference this week, the chairman of the federal reserve board, ben bernanke, lowered the feds' forecast range for 2011 economic growth and 2012 economic growth. >> the economic recovery appears to be proceeding at a moderate pace authorization he though somewhat more slowly than expected and some recent indicators have also basketball weaker than expected. >> one indicator in the slide is the jobs report, growth is down and claims up. on inflation, the rate rose slightly in may, but the chairman expects inflation to fall back in line to the feds'
targeted 2% level. but it will not happen overnight. the chairman also pointed out that events taking place in europe could play a role in the u.s. economy. >> a disorderly default in one of those countries would no doubt roil financial markets globally, have a big impact on credit spreads, on stock prices and so on, and so in that respect i think the effects in the united states would be quite significant. >> is he talking greece there, james? >> yes, i think he is tremendously -- in fact, i know the fed is very concerned about what is going on in europe. the white house is very concerned about going on in europe because they view the economy as sputtering and it cannot take a serious hit at this point. >> i think that's one every reasons -- they are dipped into the strategic oil reserve with 27 other countries, to inject more oil into the market, because the impact of the
rising oil prices and libya and yemen unrest were having a dampening effect on the world recovery. this is something -- not just -- 27 other countries joined in, not only obama. >> the critical thing they is referring to is we've had the most stimulative man tory policy in the history of the country and fiscal policy and we haven't come out of this recession. we have the barely two, 2 1/2% growth projected by his numbers. and in effect what he is saying is we don't fully understand why, because with all of this stimulus we should be doing a lot better and we aren't. and that's is something that could get a lot worse and that's what he's worried about. >> is the good news here that he is not talking about a double dip either directly or indirectly? >> i think that's absolutely good news for the economy. it's good news for the president. that he is not talking about a double dip recession. i think that if the president can take the mention that we heard from bernanke earlier
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